Podcast Podcast, Season 2, Episode 10: Ian Rogers on how web3 will change the world and the future of luxury watchmaking

7 min

Web3 visionary Ian Rogers talks about NFTs, crypto and what makes the TAG Heuer Connected Watch so unique.

There are moments when time stands still. Moments where you find yourself on the verge of greatness. Moments that stand the test of time. The Edge is a series of conversations where extraordinary people tell intimate stories of one moment that changed everything for them. A world record, a world championship, an epiphany, a life-changing decision. They relive their moments, minute by minute. How they overcame pressure, fear, pain and pushed themselves to the limit. To The Edge. 

Our guest is Ian Rogers, Chief Experience Officer at Ledger. Ian is a true visionary. He has always been ahead of the curve. An early pioneer of the Internet and digital music, Ian sees the future before it happens. After helping to revolutionize the world of music with Beats and Apple, Ian spent 5 transformative years as LVMH’s Chief Digital Officer. Now he’s leading the way in the world of web3. 

Talking to Ian is like talking to someone with a crystal ball. He gives us deep, rich insights on NFTs, crypto and the future of luxury watchmaking. He talks about his love for the digital world, creators, and creativity. The conversation is enlightening and engaging. Presented by your host Teo Van Den Broeke, Editorial Director at Soho House, you’ll discover the exciting world of web3, through the mind of Ian Rogers.

To listen to the entire podcast, type “The Edge TAG Heuer” into the search bar of your podcast application:


Our aim? To become the source of inspiration you need each month to help you exceed your limits.

Attention: Only have a minute?

Here are a few snippets to put you on the starting line and get the adrenaline pumping. But don’t forget to subscribe to our Podcast so you can listen to the full, unfiltered episode later. The Edge is a series of conversations with extraordinary people operating at the edge of possibility. It’s about the thin line between taking part and tipping into victory; it’s about what gives us our edge and what we can do to go beyond it.

Using the early Internet as an analogy for today’s digital assets

The best analogy to think about here is what the Internet meant to people’s lives in the early 2000s. It really wasn’t something that you had to participate in. It was something you had the opportunity to participate in. And I’d say it’s the same thing with digital assets today. There are a lot of ways to participate in it. It’s actually quite fun. I’m yet to meet an intelligent person who pokes their head into this rabbit hole and comes out unchanged. 

On doubts around digital technology

I understand when people are doubtful. But frankly, I don’t care. These things are inevitable. They happen with or without me, or you. And also, future generations will drive this and demand this.

The similarities between watch collecting and NFT communities

Nobody buys an expensive watch because it’s better at telling the time. That’s not a motivator at all. You buy it because it’s an object of beauty. It’s created with craft. And by the way, there is a lot of digital art which are objects of beauty and created with craft, and they have a community built around them. So, I mean, what is a luxury watch? It’s an object of beauty. It’s created with craft. There’s a community built around it.

The power of digital

Think about your watch collection versus your digital luxury collection. I have some very nice watches that are in a safe deposit box. I’m not getting any offers on them. I’m not able to show them off to anyone. OK, I guess my kids will inherit them. Alright, that’s nice. Now, imagine if that digital collectible, which was also created with craft, was in my Ledger wallet. It’s protected, but also shown off in public. And people can see that I own it and people can make offers on it. If it was something they wanted to buy, that’s the world we’re headed for. And so I think people make this kind of fake ‘physical versus digital’ distinction, and I think they actually have it the reverse. Digital is probably going to have more value.

How the NFT feature changes the way Ian sees his TAG Heuer Connected Watch

You know, I wear my TAG Heuer Connected Watch every day. I change the NFT based on what I’m wearing. Having the NFT feature on this watch has changed my relationship with it, because I now really engage with the watch far more. And it means more to me that this is actually a one of one. No-one else has the watch I’m wearing right now, because I’m the only person who owns this NFT. Right? Your watch might be one of 50. Even one of 25. Mine is a one of one. And it means a lot to me. And I can change it, day to day. And that’s…real. Whether you like it or not is meaningless. It has meaning, in a community of people of which I am a part of. Therefore, it means something to me.

How long does it take for new technology to be universally accepted?

It’s inevitable. But it takes time. I always say my belief is these things, from the moment you can imagine them to the moment they become real on a big scale, it takes 15 years. The problem is everyone always thinks it’s 15 months, but it’s never 15 months.

On what Ian would like his legacy to be

I’ve always been curious and just wondering, ‘What’s next?.’ I’ve also always been the executive producer sitting next to someone creative. And I think in terms of legacy, I would love to have been that. I think it’s why I genuinely look up to the Arnault family so much, because they have been these executive producers behind a lot of creativity in the world.

I would like my personal legacy to be somebody who believed in creativity deeply and always tried to push things forward, to connect creative people with their audience, whatever that audience is. Somebody who pushed forward new canvases, new ways of connecting creative people and their audiences, knowing that not everyone will succeed.

The environmental impact of new technologies

I’m not so sure it’s worth thinking about. I mean, even the fact that Ethereum has now moved to proof of stake from proof of work has erased a lot of the environmental concerns around crypto generally. So I’m glad that has left the conversation, at least when it comes to Ethereum, NFTs, and collectibles. I’m not sure exactly how this applies to commodities. For example, fast fashion is a much bigger contributor to this ‘too much stuff’ problem than, say, luxury. Because luxury and luxury goods are much more scarce. The aim of luxury companies is to be sold out and not put things into landfills. Not that that’s always the case, but that’s definitely the aim. And it’s not like luxury watches are really contributing to the ‘too much stuff’ problem on the planet, you know?

TAG Heuer and NFTs

I think that the TAG Heuer team did an incredible job with this. I sat with Frederic Arnault at the beginning of 2021 and we had a conversation about this. What I realized is these NFT communities, whether it’s CryptoPunks or Deadfellaz or Bored Ape [Yacht Club], the people in these communities are incredibly passionate. I also realized that I’m a Deadfellaz owner. I don’t want a Deadfellaz T-shirt. I actually want my Deadfellaz. That’s where I think the watch face comes in. You look at what TAG Heuer did with the Mario release as an example. So you sell a limited edition watch. But then the watch face, which was actually quite cool, it wasn’t just a picture of Mario. It has a behavior. It changes throughout the day. The more you walk, the faster he walks. It’s actually cooler than a CryptoPunk, right? 


And the thing that really occurred to me was, ‘Wait a minute, imagine if instead of that thing being kind of an unlimited addition, if that watch face, that very cool interactive digital watch face was itself a limited edition’. And so I think it’s great that we’ve gone from unlimited editions to limited editions where I can take things that I own. And I can go to a marketplace right now, buy something and then boom, I can put it on my watch. And if it’s a one of one, guess what?!